After conducting a comprehensive research program into Accessible Tourism, both documented and anecdotal experience based, Sparrowly Group has identified that it is time for a change and that the Australian Tourism industry needs to act now.
Creating Real Inclusion: A call to arms to the tourism industry in support of people with disability is a discussion paper that outlines not only the current situation with respect to accessible tourism but the opportunity that exists and requires immediate change to achieve.
Change not just for the millions of those with disability and requiring accessibility options but for the industry itself. Accessible tourism currently represents $10.8 billion tourism spend to the Australian economy surpassing that of the Chinese inbound market at $10.4billion which is commonly seen as the ‘golden ticket’ in tourism.
Whilst the dollars and cents identify the extent of the opportunity the program of research outlined that being truly accessible is not just about flicking a switch or ticking a box to be compliant and that the industry’s products, experiences and major events still have some way to go before they can be considered accessible in the true sense of the word.
Through sharing a variety of examples of success or where organisations; cities and major events have taken significant steps forward the research paper aims to motivate and educate the industry and at the same time drive the broad change that is required.
With supporting evidence from individuals that have outlined their own experiences of the accessible tourism offering across Australia, the underlying theme was “could be better”. This related not just to the physical attributes of the product or experience but the team delivering it and their service attitudes, identifying that knowledge, awareness and empathy went a long way to ensuring the experience was complete.
Now is the time for change - the industry already accounts for the dollar value of accessible tourism but to maximise the opportunity needs to overall its approach to product and experience and take a holistic view to achieve sustainable success.
The full discussion paper can be downloaded here.